Ac before consonant in "ac mae"?


Thanks, everyone, for the explanations!

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One final thought: In Ianto, Iolo and Iestyn, the initial ‘I’ is being pronounced in a very consonant-ish sort of way.
In English we say a young man, a yawn. My snobby mam, instead of calling me Efa or Eva for my poor dead Aunt, gave me the fancy French middle name ‘Yvette’. I, in a group composed of folk called either Yvette or Iolo would be described as an Yvette rather than a Iolo.
Using Yvette a Ianto is equivalent and, as Cymraeg aims to flow easily from the tongue, makes perfect sense.
Maybe @garethrking can tell us if a before iachau and ac before ithfaen is now ‘correct’?

Just what we were saying, really. Even have the example of “a young man” earlier :blush:

Sure, you can ask people with Welsh degrees and have written professionally, people who have won chairs at the national, professional translators what is “right” or “wrong” (eg people I was referring to earlier about the birthday card - bit of overkill for such a thing, really, now I come to write it out ! :blush:) but no one man has a monopoly on what is right or wrong. You will find disagreement even among such people as the above. It would of course be nice to know what Gareth King thinks, as always.

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The issue is as you have indicated it, @henddraig, namely is the i a ‘consonant i’ or a ‘vowel i’? As far as I am concerned, therefore, it is a iachau but ac ithfaen, for that very reason. Note for example Gwasanaethau Mamolaeth a Iechyd Plant Maternity and Child Health Services.
I very much suspect (don’t quote me though!) that if you come across, for example ac iechyd, this is really a hypercorrection, and like all hypercorrections…wrong! :slight_smile:


I got the impression that though there is a tendency for “a” to be used before a consonantal form, it is by no means a cut and dried thing.
Certainly what I got from the conversation with the above people about it’s natural use was, as I said (easier to cut and paste!) “Though in English it is pretty cut and dried- you use “a” before a consonantal “i” or “w” sound, and “an” before a vowel “i” or “w” sound [a young man, an evil hamster; a well trodden path, an oozing sore], in Welsh whether you use “ac” or “a” before the consonantal forms tends not to be so cut and dried- at least in speech. Though officially it may tend to “the other way round” than in English, it seems pretty much left up to the individual. :blush:
Just my impression of the impression of the people I mentioned above though, of course!
I’m not sure I would describe using “ac” before what might be regarded as a consonantal “i” (or “w”) as wrong and a hyper correction (no quotation marks! :blush:) - Just another person’s natural use of the language.

[Correcting “ac” to “a” or vice versa in either situation unasked would, of course, both be hyper corrections!]

Edit- in other words, “use ‘a’ before the sound represented by “i” whenever it has a consonantal value” is not a “rule” you will find many places, because (unlike in English) it isn’t universal practice.

Edit2 - I was going by my experience and the experience of others I had talked to. But stuff like the “Gwasanaethau Mamolaeth a Iechyd Plant” mentioned above is of course relevant. For fun, if you google “ac Iechyd” and “a Iechyd”, you will see many, many sources using both forms.